October 10, 2019

Research at Northern Health is not just about Research Week

What an exciting year it has been for research at Northern Health, reflected by the posters and presentations at our capstone event, Research Week 2019. These contributions highlight the quality of research activities occurring across the clinical spectrum being driven by an increasing number of staff at Northern Health. We know that a health service which commits to, and nurtures, a research culture has better patient outcomes and happier and more satisfied staff and patients.

We should be very proud of the clinical care we deliver and we are underpinning it with education and research. This will ensure we evaluate and question everything we do, leading to continuous improvement in the way we deliver trusted care to our community and educate our staff and our students, Northern Health’s workforce of the future.

We were privileged to have an exciting range of speakers at this year’s Research Week. They encouraged us to reflect upon our current practices and challenged us to explore how we can rise above the increasing demands we will continue to face. Future service challenges are not to be underestimated, but by reviewing and evaluating what we do, and how we do it, gives us the opportunity to change things for the better and to deliver trusted care for our community, now and into the future.

Research at Northern Health is not just about Research Week, it is about many highlights throughout the year.

Recently we re-established Northern Health’s own on-site Low Risk Human Research Ethics Committee. Chaired by Professor Bill van Gaal, this has significantly streamlined the governance review process for low-risk ethics applications and reduced the barrier for staff to initiate research.

Northern Health has invested into the establishment of a world-class Reproductive Health Biobank. Located within the Northern Centre of Health Education & Research, this is championed by one of our emerging researchers, Associate Professor Lisa Hui.

We have been successful in securing grant funding through the Melbourne Academic Centre for Health, in collaboration with research partners, covering areas such as improving outcomes for indigenous patients with cardiac disease, investigating knowledge of disability services around NDIS providers and helping to better understand childhood respiratory diseases.

Northern Heath is the major partner in the recently announced NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Interactive Digital Technology to Transform Australia’s Chronic Disease Outcomes. This grant, led by Professor Brian Oldenburg from the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, provides a major opportunity for Melbourne’s north to become the focus for digital health research. It will also significantly enhance our Staying Well program by utilising patient interactive digital technology to transform the way care is delivered for those living with chronic disease.

We hosted the inaugural Digital Health Futures Summit bringing together expertise from around the globe focused on co-designing innovative ways of creating a sustainable future in healthcare.

Recently, Northern Health partnered with Amazon and Swinburne University to launch the Swinburne University Data for Social Good Cloud Innovation Centre powered by Amazon Web Services. The centre is one of seven worldwide, and the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. The first innovation challenge, aimed at improving outcomes for newly diagnosed type-2 diabetics, was held at Northern Health resulting in the development of digital solutions that were co-designed with Northern Health staff and patients from our Endocrinology team.

Congratulations and thank you to all who have contributed to research. Research is on the move at Northern Health and we are looking forward to an even bigger and better 2020.

Professor Peter Brooks AM
Research Lead Northern Health

See videos below to hear from our speakers: